By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Christian Leader Raises Concerns
Reports reaching Gainako’s news desk indicate that Christian religious leaders have been raising concerns on the declaration of The Gambia as an Islamic State since December. On March 11th Gainako published an article on “The Gambia Christian Council National Day of Prayer and Service” held on March 5th 2016. However since the gathering and the Christian Council State visit, the Christian Community has been sending mixed signals by twice accepting large cash donations after the Islamic State declaration in December 2015. Since the National Day of prayer and Father Edu’s sermon on GRTS, Christian Religious leaders have remained mute and refrained from speaking out, until now.
Islamic State Declaration Timeline
- December 12th 2015 – Jammeh declares The Gambia as an Islamic State
- December 23rd 2016 – Jammeh gives D1M Christmas Gift to Gambia Christian Council
- January 13th 2016 – Jammeh imposes the Hijab on all Government female civil servants temporarily
- March 30th 2016 – Jammeh gives D2.3M Easter Gift to a Gambia Christian Community
- April 31st 2016 – Jammeh announces his intention to implement Sharia Law in The Gambia
- June 8th 2016 – Office of the IGP bans drumming and celebrations during Ramadan
On July 2nd Father David Jimoh Jarju, a Catholic Priest voiced out his concerns on the Islamic State declaration, stating that “declaring The Gambia as an Islamic State is confusing Christians”. He made reference to a previous meeting at State House where Christian Leaders voiced out their concerns on the Islamic State Declaration but this he said was never captured on the nations only State TV, GRTS.
Instead the image that many Gambians have been left with was that of the Gambia Christian Council receiving a “1M Dalalsis Christmas Gift“. This image of the meeting has left a sour taste in the mouth of Gambian Christians in particular. However the big question that most have been asking is why the Gambia Christian Council accepted such a cash gift after listening to Jammeh’s declaration. However Father David Jimoh Jarju has just recently provided clarification that he was part of the State House delegation of Christian Leaders that raised concerns which was never aired by GRTS.
According to Father Jarju GRTS only captured one side of the story but not the whole scenario and as a result mislead the entire country on such an important issue. He expressed his disappointment with the state by saying that “a father of two children shouldn’t consider one and leave one”. Another point he raised was the recent banning of drumming and festivities during Ramadan. According to him this was a move to “intimidate Christians during Ramadan by stopping them from using drums and other entertaining instruments in observance of their activities such as first communions, etc”. Finally he stated that “local leaders and the police should try and avoid such incidents from happening in the future”.
Waa Juwara Released from Hospital
Former Minister of Local Government and Lands Waa Juwara has been discharged from hospital and returned to Mile II after receiving treatment for 18 days. Mr. Juwaraa has been charged with bogus crimes including Economic Crimes and Abuse of Office. He has been convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment.
Human Rights and Political Activist claim that Waa Juwara’s detention is a “Tactical Move to contain Brikama” and is being witch hunted because of his immense Political capital. Yahya Jammeh wants him muzzled to keep him away from the political field as he seeks for a fifth term in the upcoming December 2016 Presidential Elections. Reports reaching Gainako indicate that Mr. Juwara was initially banned from family visits but this ban was however later lifted towards the latter end of his hospital treatment.
Mr. Juwara was described as a strong supporter of the United Democratic Party (UDP) who later switched allegiance with Dictator Jammeh’s party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC). Soon after crossing the carpet he was appointed as the minister of Local Government and recently arrested and detained before taken to court.
Above is a graphic of some of the injuries that Waa Juwara has sustained during previous detentions with the Security Forces. He’s current health condition is very sketchy at the moment. According to an Amnesty International report, “The UN Special Rapporteur on torture issued a report in March citing that torture was prevalent and routine, particularly by the NIA in the early stages of detention”. It is widely known that torture is a standard practice used by the Gambian Security forces to muzzle Jammeh’s opposition.